As the 2023 Women’s NCAA Championship concludes, reflecting on the swim of the meet is common. Although this is often subjective, it is hard to argue an event where three swimmers broke the NCAA record and more than 1.5 seconds were taken from the record isn’t the swim of the meet. If you aren’t aware, I’m talking about Kate Douglass’ 1:48.37 with the 200 yard IM NCAA Record.
For those who haven’t followed one of our analyses, these analyses are for fun and to spark debate. There are some inherent flaws in this race analysis:
- Videos are taken from YouTube videos (often with subpar angles)
- There are analyzed with Kinovea
Watch 200 Yard IM NCAA Record – 1:48.37 Kate Douglass
200 Yard IM NCAA Record Analysis
First 15 Meters
Entering at 3.28 meters on the start, Douglass hits the 15-m mark at 6.27 seconds without taking a stroke. Her velocity was 2.39 m/s
16.40 Yards (15-meters) – 25 Yards
Douglass took 4 strokes over this distance at a velocity of ~1.97 m/s.
First 25 Yards Analysis
Douglass took 4 total strokes for the lap, touching the wall in 10.64 seconds. She had a distance per stroke of 2.15 meters per stroke and a stroke rate of 1.12 seconds per second
25 Yards – 41.40 Yards
Douglass broke the surface near 13.19 meters in 6.17 seconds. She took 2 strokes to the 15-meter mark and cross the mark in 7.98 seconds. Her velocity was 1.88 m/s over this distance.
41.40 Yards – 50 Yards
She took 3 strokes over the last 8.6 yards and had a velocity of 1.76 m/s.
Second 25 Yards Analysis
Douglass took 5 strokes over this lap and completed this lap in 12.87 seconds. She had a distance per stroke of 2.87 meters per stroke and a stroke rate of 1.34 seconds per stroke.
Kate touched the first 50 in 23.51 seconds.
50 Yards – 66.4 Yards
Douglass broke the surface at 13.41 meters in 5.51 seconds and broke the 15-m mark in 8.2 seconds. She took 4 strokes at a velocity of 1.83 m/s over this distance.
66.4 Yards – 75 Yards
Into the turn, Douglass took 6 strokes. She had a velocity of 1.50 m/s into the turn.
Third 25 Yards Analysis
Splitting 13.93 seconds on the third 25, Kate had a stroke rate of 0.84 seconds per stroke and a distance per stroke of 1.43 meters per stroke.
75 Yards – 91.4 Yards
Breaking the surface at 8.07 meters, Douglass surfaced in 3.53 seconds and broke the 15-m mark at 8.16 seconds. She took 6 strokes over this distance. She had a velocity of 1.84 m/s.
91.4 Yards – 100 Yards
Into the wall, she takes 6 strokes. Her velocity was 1.62 m/s.
Fourth 25 Yards Analysis
Douglass completed the second backstroke lap in 13.47. She had a stroke rate of 0.83 seconds per stroke and a distance per stroke of 1.43 meters per stroke over the last 8.6 yards.
Her time on the backstroke leg was 27.40, as she touched the 100 yard mark at 50.91 seconds.
100 Yards – 116.4 Yards
With a breakout of 8.33 meters, Kate surfaced in 4.92 seconds and took 3 strokes to the 15-m mark which she crossed at 10.29 seconds.
116.4 Yards – 125 Yards
She took 3 more strokes into the wall, with a velocity of 1.71 m/s.
Fifth 25 Yards Analysis
Splitting 15.32 seconds, her distance per stroke was 2.97 meters/stroke with a stroke rate of 1.73 seconds per stroke.
125 Yards – 141.4 Yards
Surfacing at 8.6 meters, Kate surfaces at 5.11 seconds and takes 3 strokes to the 15-m mark in 10.07 seconds. Her velocity over this distance was 1.49 m/s.
141.4 Yards – 150 Yards
Taking 3 strokes into the turn, she completed the last 8.6 seconds in 5.9 seconds.
Sixth 25 Yards Analysis
Kate split 16.06 seconds and had a distance per stroke of 2.87 meters per stroke. Her stroke rate was 1.83 seconds per stroke.
Over these 50 yards, Kate split 31.38.
150 Yards – 166.4 Yards
Douglass surfaces in 8.95 meters in 3.6 seconds. She took 6 strokes and completed this 15-m in 8.57 seconds.
166.4 Yards – 175 Yards
With 6 strokes into the wall, Kate’s velocity is 1.73 m/s.
Seventh 25 Yards Analysis
Douglass splits 13.53 seconds. Her stroke length was 1.43 meters per stroke and her stroke rate was 0.83 seconds per stroke.
175 Yards – 181.4 Yards
Surfacing at 7.85 meters in 2.79 seconds, Kate takes 7 strokes and splits 7.92 seconds.
181.4 Yards – 200 Yards
With seven strokes into the wall, Douglass closed in 1.92 m/s.
Eighth 25 Yards Analysis
Douglass split 13.29 on the last lap with fourteen total strokes, a distance per stroke of 1.23 meters per stroke and a stroke rate of 0.69 seconds per stroke.
She split 26.08 seconds over this lap, touching in 1:48.37.
200 Yard IM NCAA Record Analysis
In one of the most anticipated races at NCAA’s, Kate Douglass demolished the former record by 1.71 seconds. In a competitve field, she had the fastest split in each of the four strokes, truly showing her amazing versatility.
Theoretical Improvements for Douglass’ 200 Yard IM
There is room to improve for every swimmer. Here are the notable improvements from Kate Douglass’ 200 IM NCAA Record:
- Most of Kate’s turns showed good timing, but her turn at the 50 yard mark was notably long (as well as Huske next to her). She was nearly fully submerged into this turn, likely slowing her 0.05 – 0.10 seconds.
- Both of Douglass’ pullouts were notably inferior to Alex Walsh next to her. It’s hard to believe the dominant 200 yard breaststroker Douglass does not have good pullouts, but she clearly rushes her dolphin kick, impeding her distance off each turn. In fact, Walsh goes a full 2.5 meters further on each pullout. If Douglass could extend her pullout by delaying her initial dolphin kick she can likely improve 0.1 – 0.15 seconds per pullout.
With these improvements, she can improve another 0.25 – 0.4 seconds.
There are likely more technical improvements with his swimming stroke, but the video from the race is not close enough or provides underwater angles for a full assessment.